Tag Archives: Mike Judge

The Set of 400: #49 – My Favorite Satanic Romance

Today! Because it’s been six weeks since Saddam Hussein was killed by a pack of wild boars and the world is still glad to be rid of him –

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999)

Directed by Trey Parker

Starring Trey Parker (x2), Matt Stone (x2), Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes (x2), George Clooney (x5), Brent Spiner (x2), Minnie Driver, Dave Foley, Eric Idle (x3), Mike Judge, Toddy Walters

The first time I saw anything South Park related was after my sister went away to college and somehow acquired a copy of the infamous Spirit of Christmas short – the epic Jesus vs. Santa bloodbath – which helped launched the long running Comedy Central program. At this point, our town hadn’t even gotten cable beyond channel 36 (QVC, incidentally), but the clamor for it was at such an intense volume that I can point to a number of people who would claim their lives completely changed when the lines got run to their houses, and all of a sudden we had multiple dozens of new channels.

I suspect no one under the age of 25 can really understand this now – going from an insanely limited number of options to seemingly everything we could ever want. I mean, we had MTV and VH1 and…A&E, since around 1990, but I remember when we expanded to that batch of channels, nearly tripling our lifetime tally of 13. Obviously getting MTV was the big deal then, considering it had existed for years by that point, but come 1997/8, the stories of all the splendors of extended cable were emanating from big cities, and South Park embodied all the wonders we were missing. I didn’t know what the hell was on E! or Bravo or The Learning Channel (TLC used to be The Learning Channel! Go look at what they air now!), all I knew was that I needed Comedy Central.

There are no bigger sellouts on Earth than TLC

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The Set of 400: #115 – My Favorite Dystopia, Brought to You By Carl’s Jr.

Today! Because #1: We’ve got this guy Not Sure. #2: He’s got a higher IQ than any man alive and #3: He’s going to fix everything –

Idiocracy (2006)

Directed by Mike Judge (x2)

Starring Luke Wilson (x2), Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, Terry Crews, David Herman (x3), Anthony Campos, Justin Long (x4), Stephen Root (x5), Thomas Haden Church (x2), Andrew Wilson (x2), Greg Pitts (x2), Kevin Klee, Brad ‘Scarface’ Jordan, Brendan Hill, Sara Rue

I wish I had been including it all along, because I’m curious where Idiocracy would rank in terms of box office on this list. #399, maybe? #307 The Return of Captain Invincible had virtually no release whatsoever, so that’s probably last, but this is damn close. Completely abandoned by Fox in its often delayed release, Idiocracy only ran on 130 screens for about two weeks, grossing $444,000 per the Mojo. Test screenings were apparently bad, plus they were nervous about the film taking shots at many existing brands – Starbucks, Fox News, Fuddruckers, Costco, and Carl’s Jr. most notably. Fox claimed they didn’t know how to market it – a claim also made seven years earlier when they managed to flop Judge’s other classic, Office Space. So Judge took his next film, Extract, to Miramax – where it also didn’t make money. Ah well!

The world was not ready for this movie

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The Set of 400: #132 – My Favorite Stapler

Today! Because it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care –

Office Space (1999)

Directed by Mike Judge

Starring Ron Livingston, David Herman (x2), Ajay Naidu (x2), Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole (x2), Diedrich Bader (x2), Stephen Root (x3), Richard Riehle (x2), John C. McGinley (x2), Paul Wilson, Joe Bays, Orlando Jones, Greg Pitts, Alexandra Wentworth

When you’re in college and see Office Space for the first time, it’s a goofy, light-hearted look at relationships and co-workers and oh, what a laugh! When you watch it as an adult who has worked in an office non-stop for that last fifteen years, it’s still funny, but in that sympathetic, soul-crushing manner that watching videos of people falling on the ice is funny. It’s such a curiously accurate representation of the horrors of white-collar working that it’s amazing anyone could watch this film while still in college – still figuring out what it is you want to do with your life – and end up in an office. It’s like watching Saving Private Ryan and thinking how fun it probably is to join the Army. It’s like watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and being inspired to go into politics. It’s like watching The Dark Knight and considering a career as a bank manager.

Sure, we’d all like to grow up to be William Fichtner, but not this William Fichtner

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